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Dositheus II Notarius of Jerusalem

Dositheus II Notarius of Jerusalem was the Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1669 to 1707 and a theologian of the Orthodox Church. He took a firm stand against influences of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. He convened the Synod of Jerusalem to counter the Calvinist confessions of Cyril Lucaris.


Dositheus was born in Arachova, Greece on May 31, 1641. Little of his early life is known. He was ordained a deacon in 1652 and elevated to archdeacon of Jerusalem in 1661. In 1666, he was consecrated archbishop of Caesarea Palestinae. In 1669, he was elected patriarch of Jerusalem.

Patr. Dositheus became very involved in the state of the Orthodox Church in the Balkans, Georgia, and southern Russia, particularly in the aftermath of the Calvinist Confession of Faith by Patr. Cyril Lucaris of Constantinople that set forth his agreement in the doctrines of predestination and justification by faith alone. In 1672, Patr. Dositheus convened the Synod of Jerusalem that rejected all the Calvinist doctrines and reformulated Orthodox teachings in a manner that distinguished them from Roman Catholicism as well as Protestantism.

In 1682, responsing to a request of Patr. Joachim of Moscow, Patr. Dositheus arranged the sending of the brothers Joannicus and Sophronius Likhud to Moscow. There they led in the establishment of the Slavo-Greco-Latin Academy, the first higher educational institution in Moscow, later the Moscow Theological Academy.

In correspondence with Peter I of Russia, he objected to Peter's reforms that subjected the Church to the state, particularly with his abolition of the patriarchate of Russia. Dositheus failed in his attempt to get Peter to intercede for the Orthodox Church in the peace treaty with Ottoman Turkey in 1702.

Patr. Dositheus wrote intensively. Most of his works were compilations from the writings of the Greek Fathers and were directed against the positions of the Roman Catholic church and of the Eastern churches that recognized Rome. In 1715, after he died, his twelve volume History of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was published.

As a consequence of the establishment of a strong presence of the Latin influence into the Holy Lands after the crusades, Patr. Dositheus was confronted with constant efforts by delegates of the Latin countries of Austria, France, Poland, and Venice to assert new and historical privileges concerning Church properties in Jerusalem. In 1675, he obtained a firman that gave the Orthodox exclusive rights to the Holy Sepulchre, but the right was withdrawn in 1690. Twice assassination attempts were made on him. In 1680, he was able to save loss of the Monastery of the Holy Cross due to the indebtedness of the Orthodox Georgian monks. He traveled to Constantinople to defend against the Latins before Sultan Suleiman, voiding some their actions concerning privileges, but in 1688 due to their war with the Ottomans he was unable to obtain firmans favorable to the Orthodox, resulting in the eviction of the Orthodox from Jerusalem. Vowing not the return to Jerusalem until he obtained removal of the Latins from the illegally acquired shrines, Dositheus succeeded in obtaining many favorable but less important firmans.

Patr. Dositheus reposed in Constantinople on February 8, 1707, not living long enough to see through the struggles that he passed on to his successor Patr. Chrysanthus.

Succession box:
Dositheus II Notarius of Jerusalem
Preceded by:
Archbishop of Caesarea
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Jerusalem
Succeeded by:
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